30. LostIt was a gorgeous day, the crowd was thick and in good spirits, and Mark had only sold two prints of his photos — a long-exposure shot of a fountain that gave the water a ghostly flow, and black and white photo of a street lamp in Paris — for a whopping $12.

This wasn’t his crowd, he thought, realizing that he wasn’t even going to make his booth money back. Not even close. If he wanted to make a living selling his photographs, he needed to find his crowd, and fast.

As he sat in his uncomfortable foldable chair, Mark noticed the child in his booth, which struck him as odd because the kid wasn’t with an adult. He looked about six, and seemed fascinated by a 24”x36” shot of a multi-colored neon sign reflected in a puddle on the street. It was one of Mark’s favorites, too.

The kid just stared at it. Mark kept an eye on him, not because he was afraid the child would damage anything, but the longer no adult claimed him, the more responsible he felt for him.

Finally, Mark went over to him. “Like the photo?”

“Yeah,” he said, not looking away. “Did you do that?”

“Sure did,” Mark said. “You like photography?”

“I like this,” he said.

“Nathan? Nathan! Where are you?” The voice, two booths over, was shrill, near panic.

“Gotta go,” the kid said.

Maybe his crowd was out there after all, Mark thought as the kid left.